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Advice Needed: Portable Power Station & Diesel Heater

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by Chukar_hunter, Sep 7, 2022.

  1. Sep 7, 2022 at 8:54 PM
    #1
    Chukar_hunter

    Chukar_hunter [OP] Member

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    Hi All,

    I wanted to get some advice on a potential setup: I have a 2019 Tacoma Access Cab TRD O/R with 6ft bed and a Leer canopy.

    I sleep a lot in the back of the truck with my dog(s) on bird hunting trips in the winter in WA/OR/ID. This is typically in very remote spots and sometimes I will take a day off from hunting to rest or work remotely. My current set up is a little challenging when it gets pretty cold, especially if I have a rest day.

    I don't want to make extensive modifications to the truck as I am not sure how long I will keep it. I also have limited experience of electrics so excuse my ignorance

    (1) Planar Portable diesel heater:
    https://www.mainlineoverland.com/products/planar-portable-diesel-air-heater-planar-2d-12v
    12V; 0.8-2.42 A
    Heater would sit outside the truck with pipe coming through panel set in the window or a cut out in the passenger side bed cubby.

    (2) Portable power station:
    https://www.rei.com/product/197018/ecoflow-delta-portable-power-station
    This would sit in the cab
    13.6V; 8A max; 1250Wh; 104Ah

    (3) Wiring
    Accessory panel https://www.bluesea.com/products/43..._Breaker_12V_Socket_2x_2.1A_Dual_USB_Chargers

    12V cigarette lighter cable running from cab through the floor grommet to the panel:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MRPKPP...E3SH8&s=hi&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9kZXRhaWw

    Questions
    Does this make sense? Do I need a fuse box?

    I appreciate the 8 amp delivery from the power station will not be able to run a huge amount, but I think this would support the heater, a small 45W/3.75A fridge and some USB charging.

    I would appreciate any advice here.

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
  2. Sep 7, 2022 at 9:02 PM
    #2
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    You have 73AH of power available with that power station. That gives about 12 hours of running the fridge and heater nonstop without recharging. If that’s enough for your needs then you should be fine.
     
  3. Sep 7, 2022 at 9:14 PM
    #3
    Chukar_hunter

    Chukar_hunter [OP] Member

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    Apologies - I linked the wrong power station, I have updated it now. I think I should have 104Ah, so with a max of 8A output, that is 13h

    I assume the 45W/3.75A fridge won't run the compressor the entire time. Also the heater probably won't run at max. I'm not sure what the average draw would be.

    Thanks
     
  4. Sep 7, 2022 at 9:53 PM
    #4
    Sharpish

    Sharpish Well-Known Member

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    Propane ‘Lil Buddy and a cooler
     
  5. Sep 7, 2022 at 10:10 PM
    #5
    Bivouac

    Bivouac Well-Known Member

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    Remains to be seen I bought the tires and wheels the rest came along
    If your going Diesel and you see Cold Temperatures make sure to run treated fuel if your going to have this heater outside the heated area.

    This is designed to draw inside warm air and vent exhaust outside

    good luck.
     
  6. Sep 7, 2022 at 10:50 PM
    #6
    YotaGangYotaGang

    YotaGangYotaGang PreRunners are wannabe 4x4’s

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    A rtt i never use and 30 light bars
    hell no NEVER get that lil buddy thats like suicide
     
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  7. Sep 8, 2022 at 6:08 AM
    #7
    Bivouac

    Bivouac Well-Known Member

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    Remains to be seen I bought the tires and wheels the rest came along
    Why is that ??

    I have used one for years .
     
  8. Sep 8, 2022 at 6:40 AM
    #8
    Sharpish

    Sharpish Well-Known Member

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    Less dangerous than a diesel heater. Lil Buddy is catalytic.
     
  9. Sep 8, 2022 at 10:45 AM
    #9
    MR5X5

    MR5X5 Well-Known Member

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    First off, what part of WA are you chasing birds in...?

    I run a Chinese diesel heater inside the truck. I plumbed a 6ft exhaust from the cubby above the wheel well to basically the rear bumper. I made a little exhaust jumper for the heater to the 6 ft exhaust. Works like a champ. I think having it outside will very much tax it's ability as you are always needing to heat outside air to the desired temp vs recirculating heated air. You can certainly use a little buddy with a separate Carbon Monoxide alarm, but they produce a heck of a lot of condensation - the diesel heater does not.

    As for the power station - realize that in the winter the fridge will draw very little of the 3.75A so you have more time than you might think. Summer time it will probably run a 50% duty cycle. Figure that heater will nominally draw 2 Amps. In eastern WA I run my heater 3-4 hrs a night at 20F outside and burn about a liter of fuel per night.

    Have you considered a 100 A-Hr LiFePO4 battery approach.

    If in the greater Seattle area and you want to check out what I've done. Shoot me a pm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022
  10. Sep 8, 2022 at 3:01 PM
    #10
    Chukar_hunter

    Chukar_hunter [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    @MR5X5 - I mainly chukar hunt on the Columbia breaks. I will also be spending quite a lot of time in Oregon on the Snake river this season. I have 1 Brittany at the moment and will be adding a second soon.

    I hadn't considered putting the portable planar heater inside the truck. I am quite limited for space - I have the dog crates on a raised platform near the cab and then I sleep on the floor of the bed with my feet under the raised platform. The heater should be able to fit next to the 2-hole dog box on the raised platform, but I am definitely struggling with space.

    Do you happen to have a photo of your setup? Can you please send me a link to the heater and the battery you mention?

    Thanks - really appreciate the time folks have taken to provide some advice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
  11. Sep 9, 2022 at 11:43 AM
    #11
    MR5X5

    MR5X5 Well-Known Member

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    Chucks on the breaks, very masochistic of you! lol I primarily chase Pheas in the Palouse. Our setups are similar although I'm using and OVRLND pop-up camper vs a canopy.

    My build uses a 5kW diesel heater mounted in a B&W International Type 6000 case. My fuel bottle is mounted on a slide bracket for easy removal. The exhaust pass throughs for the case and the truck cubby are "boating" double wall hull exhaust pass throughs. I made simple red silicone doughnut gaskets out of 1/8" sheet for the jumper section to ensure no exhaust leaks inside. The exhaust beyond the cubby is secured with a bracket at the "far end" and otherwise "floats" in the dead space above the wheel wheel skirt unsupported - it is plenty rigid so as not to cause issues. All the bits fit inside the case nicely. I have a CO alarm, which is useless for diesel - live and learn - but it makes the wife sleep better.. Note that CO in diesel exhaust is on the order of 1/20th that of a gas engine. It stinks bad and is much less of a silent killer - but of course, beware...

    I used this heater:
    https://www.amazon.com/maXpeedingrods-Diesel-Thermostat-Control-Trailer/dp/B07N63XV4S?crid=25ISO99C9FNFD&keywords=diesel+heater+5kw&qid=1662747099&sprefix=diesel+heater%2Caps%2C1308&sr=8-3&th=1

    I found the case new on E-bay for $60, they appear to have doubled since then.

    For a battery I use a 100 Amp Hr Renogy Smart LiFePO4 charged by either solar, alternator, or both.

    https://www.renogy.com/12v-100ah-smart-lithium-iron-phosphate-battery-w-self-heating-function/

    https://www.renogy.com/dcc30s-12v-30a-dual-input-dc-dc-on-board-battery-charger-with-mppt/

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
     
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  12. Sep 9, 2022 at 11:46 AM
    #12
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    I keep my diesel heater outside when using it. It’s noisy and I wouldn’t want it inside anything with me. No issues at 8000+ feet and temperatures between 0-50°F.
     
  13. Sep 9, 2022 at 11:49 AM
    #13
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    Not at all. The diesel heater uses an entirely separate burner and heater. The combustion gases are not part of the heat provided unlike the propane heaters which are directly exhausting the combustion gas as part of the heat.
     
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  14. Sep 17, 2022 at 9:17 AM
    #14
    Huckin Grate

    Huckin Grate Well-Known Member

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    Also, propane combustion creates water vapor as a byproduct. Go to sleep in a sealed camper with a little buddy running and you'll wake up soaked -- if you wake up. I used one in the back of a camper just to take the chill off in the mornings before getting dressed, down to -20. It was ok hut not ideal.

    Chukar hunter, I just finished installing a 2kw diesel heater in the back of my Flippac, run off a deep cycle battery charged by a solar panel. I sited the heater under the deck system in the taco bed, routing the exhaust out through where the little storage compartment sits behind the wheel wells. Didn't like how much space the 10L tank tool so replaced that with a 5 liter jerry and used enough fuel line so it can be pulled out to fill the tank. And I sited the fuel pump, which is by far the noisiest part of these heaters outside the bed, on the other side of the board the heater is mounted on. So it's fairly quiet inside.

    Can't tell you how well it works yet, because it's still too warm here to need it and it's too hot here to run my labs for birds, but I did run the heater all night while doing some fiberglass work on the flippac, and it barely drained my 90ah battery at all. I'll probably get some serious mileage on it in the next few weeks and can give you better advice.

    One thing with installing these heaters, the instructions are terrible, use one of the YouTube builds for advice, and get one with the hard fuel line, not the soft green stuff.
    I bought extra fuel line and extra filter just to be safe.
     
  15. Sep 17, 2022 at 4:31 PM
    #15
    Chukar_hunter

    Chukar_hunter [OP] Member

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    Thanks for this. What battery are you using?
     
  16. Sep 17, 2022 at 7:24 PM
    #16
    Huckin Grate

    Huckin Grate Well-Known Member

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    Just a group 24 lead-acid deep cycle I bought off a guy off marketplace for cheap. Rated at 90ah, and my solar charge controller says that's what it has and it seems fine so far -- tho I like i said i just finished installing it a week or 2 ago so i still gotta run it a bit. Like you, I'm planning on adding a fridge as well, probably a 45 quart. After running the heater all night and interior lights drawing 1.5 amps for 3 hours while working on it, my solar panel had the battery maxed out in like 3 hours. So I think I'll be good with this setup.
     
  17. Sep 19, 2022 at 12:56 AM
    #17
    Chukar_hunter

    Chukar_hunter [OP] Member

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    Thanks for providing details of your battery setups @Huckin Grate and @MR5X5

    One of my concerns with the jackery/bluetti/ecolow style approach is how slow they charge from the vehicle via the cigarette 12v socket. The ecoflow device I linked takes 13.5 hours to charge according to the specs. This could be very limiting in terms of maintaining power over longer trips.

    I've been looking at the renogy setup that @MR5X5 mentioned. Is this faster to charge the LiFePO4 battery off the alternator? Do you have an idea of how long?

    Thanks - appreciate everyone's thoughts.
     
  18. Oct 6, 2022 at 5:04 PM
    #18
    penadam

    penadam Well-Known Member

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    The issue with the ecolow style batteries is the current through the DC charging port it limited to 10 amps. This is only 130 watts when charging from a car, or 650 watts from 65 V solar panels. If you want faster charging with the ecolow style batteries, you can get an inverter and use that to charge it. You'd need a 1,800 watt inverter to charge it, but it would get it charged quickly. I believe the stock 3rd gen alternator is 130 amps (right around 1800 watts total capacity), so you'd be draining your truck battery to charge at that rate. You can get higher output alternators, but they're pretty expensive.

    The renogy batter is just a smarter version of any deep cycle battery (which can be had for much cheaper). If you go that route, you can wire it in parallel with the existing truck battery (should get a low voltage disconnect though to preserve the starting battery) and charge at the rate of whatever is leftover from your alternator (after power used to run the truck). I believe with the truck running you'll pull 20-50 amps from the alternator with the rest of the current available for radios, charging, etc...

    You may be best served by getting a deep cycle battery and an large inverter.

    Here's a 100 Ah battery for $250 and an 2000 watt inverter for $130. This replicates the ecolow for significantly less cost though it sacrifices the packaging and some of the portability.
     
  19. Oct 10, 2022 at 11:51 AM
    #19
    MR5X5

    MR5X5 Well-Known Member

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    Charging via solar or alternator, you are still limited by charging limitations of batteries and charging algorithms of chargers.
    Real life from the woods last month - Latitude northern Idaho - weather - mostly clear. Daytime highs mid 70s, nights mid 50s.. Operating an 85L Waeco fridge cold enough to keep things frozen. Duty cycle, guess, ~20%. Current draw ~5.7A at 12.5VDC. Running LED lighting ~1Amp for 4 hrs per night, charging phones, radios etc daily. This scenario would use 20-25 Amp HRs per day.
    For charging I'd get 5 hrs of decent sun exposure a day in the woods and would draw 4-6 Amps (~65W) from my 175W panel (just the realities of the latitude and sun angle this time of year). So I was just about able to keep up with solar alone.
    My diesel heater uses ~9A during startup, maybe 5 minutes, then ~3A when up and running.
    Note that the Renogy duel (solar/Alt charge controller) is capable of 30 amps output - that said it also knows how many batteries you have installed. On my single battery setup I've seen as high as 13.5 Amps output but it is more typically 10 amps or less as the battery becomes fully charged. So figure you can nominally charge at 10AHrs per hr via the alternator.
    Chukar chasing you will get a lot of decently sunny days. I'd guess you could count on 15-30 Amp Hrs of charging per day via solar as the days grow shorter.
    Note that a LiFePO4 battery has nothing to do with a deep cycle battery, they are apples and oranges. I'll leave that research up to you. If you can swing it I think you'll find the LiFePO4 is what you are after, AGM is your next best option.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2022
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